Internationally acclaimed tenor, John Duykers, made his professional operatic debut with Seattle Opera. Since then he has appeared with many of the leading opera companies of the world including The Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Netherlands Opera, the Grand Theatre of Geneva (Cellini/Benvenuto Cellini), Frankfurt Opera, Opera de Marseille (Mime/Siegfried), the Canadian Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Opera, San Diego Opera and the Opera Company of Philadelphia (Shuisky/Boris Godunov; Herod/Salome).
John Duykers is particularly known for his performances of contemporary music, having sung in more than 100 contemporary operas including 50 plus world premieres. Among these, he created the role of Mao Tse Tung in John Adams' Nixon in China which he performed throughout the world. He made his debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the title role of Tannhäuser and has been a frequent performer there over many years. He has appeared regularly with San Francisco Opera where he performed in recent seasons in Britten’s Billy Budd, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Ligeti’s Grand Macabre and Los Angeles Opera where he sang most recently in Strauss’ Die Frau Ohne Schatten. He has performed a number of times with Santa Fe Opera where he returned in summer 2008 as Red Whiskers in Britten’s Billy Budd.
John Duykers has had a close association with a number of contemporary composers, notably John Adams and Philip Glass. He sang the premiere of Glass’ White Raven, In The Penal Colony and the title role of Galileo Galilei. He has likewise had a long association with Paul Dresher’s whose solo opera The Tyrant premiered in 2005 with the Seattle Chamber Players, followed by a performances in Philadelphia, with Cleveland Opera, Present Music in Milwaukee, the Chicago Chamber Musicians and the EdgeFest in Berkley. In 2006 he sang the premiere of Libby Larsen’s Everyman Jack for Sonoma City Opera; in 2007, the premieres of Lou Harrison’s Young Caesar at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center and Ann LeBaron’s Crescent City with the LOOS Ensemble in The Hague, Netherlands; in 2008, the premiere of Erling Wold’s Mordake as part of the San Francisco International Festival and in 2009, the premiere Allan Shearer’s The Dawn Makers in San Francisco. 2010 will bring the premieres of Don Davis’ Rio De Sangre with Florentine Opera in Milwaukee and Xenia, a song cycle by Thomas Sleeper with the Frost Orchestra in Miami as well as performances of Nixon In China (Mao Tse Tung) with Long Beach Opera and Wozzeck (Captain) with Ensemble Parallel and the Astoria Music Festival,
John Duykers is a frequent performer with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. He has sung with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, Dc and on tour, the American Composers Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Tri-Cities Symphony, Sacramento Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony and the San Jose Symphony. In 2005 he sang the premiere of Kurt Rohde’s Bitter Harvest with Kent Nagano and the Berkeley Symphony. He made his Disney Hall debut in spring 2006 with the Los Angeles Master Chorale in Orff’s Carmina Burana. His appearances at major festivals have included Aspen, the American Music Theater Festival, the Gaudeamus Music Week, Kaitheater Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music's 'Next Wave' Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, the London International Festival of Theatre, Internationale Teaterfestival in Copenhagen, Edinburgh Festival, the Festival Internacional de Teatro of Granada and Juneau Jazz and Classics.
John Duykers has received critical acclaim in numerous productions of the Paul Dresher Ensemble, George Coates Performance Works, and the A.Ga.Pe Performance Group which have been seen on the world's most important contemporary music and theater stages. He can be heard on numerous recordings of opera and contemporary music including the Grammy Award-winning CD of Nixon In China as well as the DVD of the Emmy Award-winning PBS Great Performances production.